|Articles on this page with permission from GREG WANE, are taken from the Barwon Heads,Ocean Grove, and Wallington news .||Issn 13290371|
Published by Whistler Publishing
PO. Box 358, Ocean Grove
Editor Greg Wayne
Auxiliary Celebrates 60th Birthday
BARWON Heads Auxiliary of the Royal Victorian Institute of the Blind (RVIB) will celebrate its 60th anniversary with a social afternoon later this month at the Uniting Church Hall, Barwon Heads.
The inaugural meeting of the Barwon Heads and Ocean Grove RVIB Auxiliarv was held at the Barwon Heads Hall in September 1942. the first president was Mrs. E. Russell; secretary Miss I. Goodwin and treasurer Miss E. Skene. Membership was one dulling per annum and 63 members were present at that first gathering.
Mrs. E. (Amuri) Russell founded the auxiliary while helping Mr. Sloan, a blind resident from Barwon Heads. Ironically, in later life Mrs. Russell went blind. This twist of fate gave her first-hand knowledge of what was required in a blind care facility.
After 31 years as president, Amuri Russell retired in 1973. Before she died, Amuri handed the presidency over to Lorna Walker.
In 1979 a 7.2-square holiday home on exhibition at the 'Home Show' in Melbourne was donated to the Royal Victorian Institute for the Blind by Eureka Budget Homes Pty Ltd.
The Ocean Grove/Barwon Heads Lions Club transported the home from Melbourne and sited it on a block of land at 17 Saratoga Avenue, Barwon Heads. The Club is currently painting and doing repair work at the premises.
The home was first used as a holiday house for blind and vision-impaired people in 1980.
When Lorna was killed in a car accident in Wallington, the cottage was named Lorna Lodge to honour of Lorna in 1990.
Lorna was a talented pianist and organist. She and her husband Eddy, who owned Walker's Butchers in Barwon Heads played in a band and performed at country,-dances. Together they were involved in many fundraisers for the RVIB.
Since 1991 more than 300 people have occupied the cottage. For a small fee, the cottage accommodates two adults and three children.
Today, president Val Harmer, secretary' Grace Brown and treasurer Alice Donnelly head 12 members whom include Miss Skene's niece, Elizabeth Skene. Miss Skene was the first treasurer of the auxiliary.
Grace and Elizabeth have been members since 1975.
Permission was granted to the Auxiliary by the RVIB in Melbourne to take charge of maintenance of the home and separate funds were transferred for this purpose.
The Auxiliary's first project was to install a pay phone, which was donated by a Barwon Heads resident, Mrs. Moira Armstrong.
The Ocean Grove Rotary Club painted the cottage in 1992 and over the past 10 years money has been successfully raised for essential equipment and maintenance.
In addition to maintenance, the Lodge raises up to $2000 each year, which is donated to the Royal Institute for the Blind in Melbourne.
Grace Brown has been a member of the RVIB for almost 30 years and has been made Life Governor of the Institute. Approaching her 80th birthday in June, Grace is still an active member with Red Cross, Hospice, RSL, Legacy as well the RVIB.
"The Blind Auxiliary is my favourite hobby", said Grace. "As secretary I have all the contact with Melbourne
On 29 May, the Barwon [leads and Ocean Grove Auxiliaries will celebrate their anniversary with the Anglesea Auxiliary.
Amuri Russell's daughter, Erica Wilkins will be the guest of honour. Mrs. Wilkins, who is in her 80s, will cut the cake as she did for the auxiliaries' 50th anniversary.
"Mrs. Russell had social afternoons to raise money for the auxiliary and in 1975 I filled in as secretary," Grace said. "I took over as treasurer in 1978 and have been there ever since."
Members are always needed for the auxiliary. Social gatherings can be enjoyed together with fundraisers and meetings, which include guest speakers. Please contact Grace Brown on 5254 2266 for further information.
The Auxiliary would like to acknowledge Life Governor Vera Montgomery who was a member for more than 20 years. Vera was secretary from 1978 to 1992 and from late 1999 has resided at Rice Village.